Unit 2 Working the land4Listening and writing
Listening on page 48
Can we see this beautiful scene again?What makes the worlds desert grow?First tick the causes you think are true. Then listen to the tape and tick what you hear.1 Heat and little rain.2 Turing forests into farmland.3 Overusing fields to feed farm animals.You thinkYou hear
4 Using new scientific farming methods.5 Wasting water in farms and at home.6 Farming too much on poor land.You thinkYou hear
Listen to the tape again and choose the best answer to each question on page 48.Answer: B A B
Listening text Why do we have deserts today? Deserts have not always been here. Most deserts that we have today were once green lands full of the plant life. One of todays biggest deserts is in North Africa. However, in the 1st century BC farms in the North Africa grew corn and wheat to make bread for the whole city of Rome. How did this area become desert?FIGHTING GROWING DESERTS
Both weather and people can help from a desert. Hot weather or very little rain makes the land so dry that nothing can grow. If people cut down or burn trees and plants to make land clear for farming, the wind can blow the soil away and turn the dry land into sand. Another big problem is farming on land that is not very good.
This poor land can very quickly turn into desert, if it is farmed too much. One of the biggest causes, however, is when people take their animals to the same fields to feed over and over, and the fields finally lose all their nutrition. Because of these problems, deserts are slowly taking over green land in many parts of the world, including China.
However, we can fight the growing deserts! In some parts of China people are working to prevent desert from expanding. In Xinjiang , for example, some farmers are trying new scientific farming methods. These methods make it possible to use less land for crops, so farmers then can plant trees on the rest of their land!
On Xinjiang farmer, used only half of his fields to grow the same amount of crops as last year. On the other half of his land, he planted fruit trees. The work of people like this is helping to fight the worlds growing deserts.
SpeakingJia Sixies work was written 1,600 years ago. Is it still at all useful today? In pairs, discuss the following questions and take notes on your conclusions.1 What ideas in Qi Min Yao Shu are still in farming today?2 What problems do we have today in modern farming that Jia Sixie did not have in his time?
WritingUse the ideas you discussed above to write a report about how useful Jia Sixies ideas are for modern times. Use the steps on page 53 to help you.
1,600 years ago the Chinese writer Jia Sixie wrote a book Qi Min Yao Shu about good agricultural practices. Today some of Jia Sixies ideas are still very useful to our modern times, but we have some problems today that he never had in his time.Sample writing
Some of Jia Sixies ideas are still very useful to our modern times. Farmers still clear their fields of weeds. They still plough deeply the first time and less deeply the second time. In addition, farmers everywhere still understand that changing crops in the fields is still important.
However, we have some problems today that Jia Sixie never faced in his time. We have environmental pollution that harms fields and crops. We have great competition in the marketplace. We have new, dangerous and powerful crop diseases.
Although our modern farmers still use some of Jia Sixies ideas today, they face problems that were never heard of in Jia Sixie day.